Social Media

All The Amazing Things You Could Do If You Quit Facebook

The platform's latest report says users spend nearly an hour a day on liking and sharing.

Social Media
Illustration: Diana Quach
May 06, 2016 at 1:42 PM ET

If your life has started to feel like one endless scroll through photos of your friends’ fancy dinners and you sister’s smushy babies, that’s because it is. In reporting its quarterly results last week, Facebook made a somewhat depressing announcement: the average user spends 50 minutes per day on Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. That’s a lot of time spent stalking your exes, people.

As New York Times reporter James B. Stewart pointed out, this means we’re spending about one-sixteenth of our waking hours on these addicting platforms. It’s also about as much time as Americans typically eating and drinking each day, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Given the immense amount of time we spend on these social media sites, Vocativ decided to find how we could use the same amount to do more productive things.

While some may find the mind-numbing act of scrolling through Facebook and Instagram relaxing, researchers have found that spending time on these platforms can actually magnify psychological problems. So, for a one-day hiatus, why not check out some of the longer guided meditation videos on YouTube, where you can “feel yourself sink deeper and deeper,” feeling “wonderful feelings that you can feel.” Once a day and you should be blissed-out enough to forget all of the awful pro-Trump posts your terrible extended family posted on Facebook that you once had to endure. (Namaste.) Or you could also bake a cake, because why the hell not? If you resist the temptation to post the final product on Instagram, you may find it tastes even better.

Now, if you decide to really go full cold turkey on Facebook and Instagram, you may slowly notice that there’s actually a whole world out there beyond your screen. Broken up over the course of a week, you could paint that spare bedroom you’ve sealed off from humanity in its disheveled state. In a year, you could stick your face in a real book (remember those) and read the first 20 great American Novels—though you might wonder what the point is without then bragging about your intellectual pursuits on the internet. And, if you give it up for good, you can become an expert in pretty much anything you want, according to Malcolm Gladwell, who swears 10,000 hours is all it takes to be a master.